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FIFA can’t guarantee promised $30,000 per player at Women’s World Cup

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FIFA President Gianni Infantino could make no guarantee Wednesday that the member federations will distribute the $30,000 payments promised to every player at the Women’s World Cup.

He said at a news conference ahead of the tournament opener that he’s engaging with member federations on the issue. The payments are made the national federations, which are expected to pay the players.

But there is no mechanism to directly pay the players the money, which could be life-changing for some.

”We are moving of course in the right direction, we have been consulting with associations, with players, to try to go in the right path,” Infantino said. ”We have issued these recommendations, but we have an association of associations. So whatever payments we do, we will go through the associations and then the associations will, of course, make the relevant payments to their own players. We are in touch with all the associations.”

FIFA had previously confirmed that the 732 players participating in the World Cup will be paid at least $30,000 each. The paycheck rises if teams do well, with each player for the winning team earning $270,000.

Infantino said there are complications including residency and taxation that are best handled by federations.

The payment is significant for many players: the average annual salary worldwide for women who play professionally is $14,000.

FIFA’s agreement means that half of the total World Cup prize money fund of $110 million will be paid to the players in the 32 teams. The prize pool is more than three times the $30 million prize fund FIFA paid out at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

The global players’ union, known as FIFPRO, helped push FIFA to dedicate a percentage of the prize money to the players themselves. The union sent a letter to FIFA in October on behalf of players from 25 national teams calling for more equitable conditions and prize money.

However, the prize money fund is still far below the $440 million paid to the men who played in the World Cup last year in Qatar. Infantino said the goal is to equalize the prize money by the 2026 men’s World Cup and the 2027 women’s edition.

Infantino said the Women’s World Cup is expected to generate a half-billion dollars in revenue and the organization will break even. For the first time, the commercial rights for the Women’s World Cup were sold separately from the men’s tournament.

The tournament opens Thursday with both co-hosts involved. New Zealand will play Norway in Auckland, and Australia will take on Ireland in Sydney.

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European Leagues

Belgium: Onyedika scores again as Club Brugge thrash Antwerp

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Belgium: Onyedika scores again as Club Brugge thrash Antwerp

Nigeria midfielder Raphael Onyedika was on target for the second consecutive game as Club Brugge defeated Royal Antwerp 3-0 on Sunday.

Onyedika opened the scoring for Club Brugge one minute before the break.

The 22-year-old has now scored three goals in his last two games for the former Belgian Pro League champions.

Onyedika was in action for 90 minutes in the game.

The former FC Midtjylland star will however miss Club Brugge’s next game against Union St Gilloise after picking his third yellow card of the play-offs.

His compatriots, Alhassan Yusuf and Chidera Ejuke were in action for Royal Antwerp in the game.

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European Leagues

EPL: Iwobi grabs assist in Fulham’s win at West Ham

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EPL: Iwobi grabs assist in Fulham’s win at West Ham

Alex Iwobi registered an assist as Fulham defeated West Ham United at the London Stadium.

Iwobi set up Andreas Pereira for the Whites second goal of the game in the 72nd minute.

It was the Nigeria international’s third assist in the Premier League this season.

The midfielder has also scored five goals.

Iwobi was replaced by Harry Wilson in the 74th minute.

His compatriot Calvin Bassey also put up a solid display for Fulham.

Bassey was in action for 90 minutes in the game.

 

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European Leagues

Serie A: Osimhen on target but not enough as Napoli slip at Frosinone

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Serie A: Osimhen on target but not enough as Napoli slip at Frosinone

Napoli’s slim chances of Champions League football were dealt another blow on Sunday after a 2-2 home draw in their Serie A match with struggling Frosinone.

Walid Cheddira’s first brace in Italy’s top flight earned a point for Frosinone in Naples.

It left ailing Italian champions Napoli in eighth, six points behind fifth-placed Roma, who can extend their advantage when they face Udinese later on Sunday.

Italian clubs’ strong performances in European football mean a top-five finish in Serie A is almost certain to gain a spot in the Champions League.

Napoli are increasingly unlikely to be among that group, and were booed off the pitch at a sparsely-populated Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.

Francesco Calzona’s side looked set for sixth place when Victor Osimhen diverted home Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s mishit shot in the 63rd minute.

Instead Cheddira, who had previously levelled Matteo Politano’s stunning early opener after the away side were gifted possession by Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret, headed home his second 10 minutes after Osimhen’s strike.

Frosinone stay just inside the bottom three and level on 27 points with 17th-placed Verona, who are outside the relegation zone on goal difference and face Atalanta on Monday.

Eusebio Di Francesco’s team deserved the draw from an eventful game in which Meret initially looked to be the hero after he saved Matias Soule’s penalty on the half-hour mark.

Frosinone have only won one league match since late November but successive draws with Genoa, fourth-placed Bologna and now Napoli have boosted their hopes of staying up.

Later Inter Milan host Cagliari at the San Siro, where a win will guarantee an opportunity to seal their 20th league title in the Milan derby on Monday week.

Inter are a whopping 14 points ahead of closest challengers AC Milan, who are at Sassuolo on Sunday.

Beating Cagliari will ensure the derby will be a chance for Inter to claim the Scudetto regardless of how Milan do in their match.

 

 

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